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Gifting money is a frequent topic on our helpline – people need to be careful about the amount of money they give away especially if they are already in receipt of paid for care. Either someone has capacity to gift money themselves or they don’t. If they do and they are seen to be giving away money to avoid paying for care, they could be accused of ‘Deprivation of Assets’ and asked to recoup that money. If an attorney (through a Lasting Power of Attorney document) or Deputy for Finances is gifting money they too need to be seen to be gifting ‘reasonable’ sums in relation to the estate.

Attorneys and Deputies can gift reasonable amounts for birthdays, religious festivals, weddings and civil partnerships. This word ‘reasonable’ is not terribly helpful for people but we suggest that they consider how the gift would be viewed if it was challenged by either the Office of the Public Guardian or the local authority. The other area of finances which can be in the mix is inheritance tax planning. People with dementia should not be advised against gifting the sums that the inheritance tax rules allow – essentially if you are over the IHT threshold then you have plenty of money and may never be calling on a local authority to contribute to your care. There is occasionally confusion over this and we have spoken to people whose banks advised against moving the allowed £3000 a year which only a formal complaint to the bank eventually resolved.

For more information about gifting money and paying for care contact our helpline: 0203 405 5940 or email admin@pathwaysthroughdementia.org


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